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Keywords:

  • cytotoxicity;
  • single-walled carbon nanotube;
  • biodegradable polymer;
  • nanocomposite;
  • bone tissue engineering

Abstract

Injectable nanocomposites made of biodegradable poly(propylene fumarate) and the crosslinking agent propylene fumarate–diacrylate as well as each of three forms of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) were evaluated for their in vitro cytotoxicity. Unreacted components, crosslinked networks, and degradation products of the nanocomposites were investigated for their effects on cell viability using a fibroblast cell line in vitro. The results did not reveal any in vitro cytotoxicity for purified SWNTs, SWNTs functionalized with 4-tert-butylphenylene, and ultra-short SWNTs at 1– 100 μg/mL concentrations. Moreover, nearly 100% cell viability was observed on all crosslinked nanocomposites and cell attachment on their surfaces was comparable with that on tissue culture polystyrene. The degradation products of the nanocomposites displayed a dose-dependent adverse effect on cells, which was partially due to increased osmolarity by the conditions of accelerated degradation and could be overcome at diluted concentrations. These results demonstrate that all three tested nanocomposites have favorable cytocompatibility for potential use as scaffolds for bone tissue engineering applications. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res 2008